Chemistry, Education & Training, Main lab

Test Update: AST and ALT

Go Live Date delayed to 3/3/2022

Go-Live Date: 3/2/2022

Due to new instrumentation at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital Laboratory (BIRL) and to standardize across the Spectrum Health system, we will be adopting new tests for AST and ALT. The difference between our current test and this new test is the addition of the co-factor pyridoxal phosphate (Vitamin B6). The new test is the recommended test of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and ultimately will provide our patient population more accurate AST and ALT results. We did not adopt the new test in the past because it came with logistical and stability issues that made its use in the lab difficult. The new instrumentation we obtained has solved some of these concerns.

Historically, if patients had a Vitamin B6 deficiency, their AST and ALT levels may have been falsely lower than the true values. This decrease was due to the lack of endogenous co-factor causing a slower reaction rate when we tested the patient sample. After we implement the new test across the system, you may notice an increase in your patient’s AST and ALT results. This increase may be evidence that your patient had some degree of Vitamin B6 deficiency. If you were trending results, we recommend you establish a new baseline with the new test versions. The lab has been changed slightly in EPIC to prevent trending between the two test versions, since the results may not be able to be correlated if your patient had a Vitamin B6 deficiency.

For Spectrum Health Epic users, please reference Epic Proportions: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, for further information regarding Epic trend results.

Questions may be directed to the Chemistry Department using the “Contact Us” link above.


TEST INFORMATION:

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), Blood Level

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) Level

Hepatic Function Panel 

CMP


Post updated 3/1/2022: Added new go-live date, information regarding SH Epic users and added Hepatic Function Panel and CMP to test list.

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